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SFSU taps legendary Australian pianist Roger Woodward as director of new School of Music of Dance



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
(415) 338-1743
(415) 338-1665

Ariane Bicho
SFSU College of Creative Arts
(415) 338-1442

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


SAN FRANCISCO, October 2, 2002 - Roger Woodward was recently named director of the San Francisco State University School of Music and Dance and a tenured professor of music.

Following concert appearances throughout France over the past few seasons: "Roger Woodward compte parmi les musicians internationaux de premier plan à notre époque," according to the French press. In the past few months he performed for the Seitama Arts Foundation's Hundred Pianists series, with the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra, throughout the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, at the Wienerkonzerthaus with Claudio Abbado, at the New York pianofest in December and with the Alexander String Quartet; in Cuba for the second Havana International Piano Competition and with the NZSO directed by James Judd. He performs with major orchestras throughout the world including the Leipzig Gewandhaus; New York, Los Angeles and Israel Philharmonics; Orchestre de Paris; Cleveland Orchestra; the London orchestras and celebrated European Community: Mahlerjungendorchester, and with conductors such as: Claudio Abbado, Paavo Berglund, Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötwös, Eliahu Inbal, Eric Leinsdorf, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Witold Rowicki, Walter Susskind, Edo de Waart and Hans Zender, inter alia.

Woodward received dedications from composers such as: Anne Boyd, Leo Brouwer, Elena Kats-Chernin, James Dillon, Franco Donatoni, Morton Feldman, Luis de Pablo, Horatiu Radulescu, Bernard Rands, Larry Sitsky, Toru Takemitsu and Yannis Xenakis. He worked closely with Gilbert Amy, Jean Barraqué, Luciano Berio, Sylvano Bussotti, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Alberto Ginastera, Witold Lutoslawski, Olivier Messiaen, Arvo Pärt and Karl-Heinz Stockhausen inter alia.

Woodward's passion for chamber music involved him in performances with ensembles such as the Incontro di Solisti, Vienna Trio, the Alexander, Arditti, Tokyo and Edinburgh string quartets and artists such as Frank Zappa; violist James Creitz; violinists Phillipe Hirschhorn, Ivry Gitlis and Wanda Wilkomirska; cellist Nathan Waks; and choreographer Graeme Murphy, artistic director of the Sydney Dance Co. Woodward was founder and artistic director of the Alpha Centauri Chamber Orchestra, London Music Digest, Kötschach-Mauthner Musiktage, annual Sydney Spring International Festival of New Music and the Chateau Bagnols Joie et Lumière concert series Burgundy. He is fellow of the Chopin Institute, Warsaw, and was chair of music at the University of New England, Australia.

He has made more than 100 recordings and videos for DGG, Decca, EMI, RCA, BMG, Warners, Artworks Australia, ABC Classics, Etcetera Records BV (Holland), Polskie Nagrania, CPO, Unicorn and performed at major International Festivals on five continents including Sviatoslav Richter's Festival at Grange de Meslay, Tours. He made BBC television documentaries with Xenakis, Stockhausen, Cage, Pärt and Boulez, performed nine seasons at the BBC Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and is a conductor as well as composer commissioned, among others, by the Festival d'Automne à Paris, for the bi-centennial of the French Revolution. He received international distinctions and awards, among them: the Polish Order of Merit for outstanding services to Human Rights, an award from the City of London for services to the community, the OBE and is a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Roger Woodward was described by the London Guardian as a "genius"; Le Monde de la Musique, Paris, as "magnificent"; in Edinburgh as "a musician's musician." In Sydney he first studied piano with Alexander Sverjensky (a pupil of Rakhmaninov), composition with Raymond Hanson, conducting with Sir Eugene Goossens and organ and church music with Kenneth Long before earning his doctorate of music with the Music Department of the University of Sydney. He pursued post-graduate studies with Zbigniew Drzewiekci (a pupil of Blumenthal, Paderewski and close friend of Szymanowski and Rubinstein) at the National Chopin Academy of Music, Warsaw. He is the recipient of four honorary doctorates from universities in Australia and Canada and the author of publications on Takemitsu, Feldman, Penderecki and the Polish avant-garde of the 1960s, Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas, Debussy, Chopin and is currently working on four publications: Skryabin and his impact on the lost Russian avant garde of the 1920s; Jean Barraqué, lyric genius; Xenakis and preparations for Keqrops and Larry Sitsky. He is composing several new works in addition to preparing the five volumes of James Dillon's Book of the Elements.

The SFSU School of Music and Dance was established this fall, merging the University's Music and Dance departments to strengthen and expand offerings and allow more opportunities for student collaborations between the two disciplines.

SFSU has a long tradition of musical excellence in composition, performance, jazz and world music, since the Music Department was founded in 1932. The University has trained hundreds of dancers and presented concerts featuring a wide range of techniques including ballet, modern, jazz, capoeira, flamenco, kathak, Afro-Haitian and Dunham for more than 40 years. The Dance Department was founded in 1986. One of the largest campuses in the CSU system, SFSU was founded in 1899 and today is a highly diverse, comprehensive, public and urban university.


NOTE: For a photo of Roger Woodward or to schedule an interview with him, contact Matt Itelson at (415) 338-1743 or, or Ariane Bicho at (415) 338-1442 or

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Last modified April 23, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs